There are lots of reasons to promote beverages, including boosting sales, introducing new offerings, engaging customers, and more.
Here are some simple ideas for accomplishing that:
- Introduce a new beverage product, such as cold brew coffee, with a discounted special price for the first month (or other appropriate time frame).
- Get employees and/or customers involved in a new beverage launch with a naming contest promoted via social media and in-store point-of-sale.
For more ideas on how to support beverage promotions, see below.
- Expand the concept of the traditional Happy Hour with afternoon tea or juice specials or late-night snacks to complement specific beverages, such as a flavored cheese ball with wine-by-the-glass, or biscotti and other Italian-style cookies with specialty coffee beverages.
- Host an event-based promotion during a traditionally slow period, such as Movie Night Monday or midweek Trivia with beer, coffee, and popcorn, or a hot cocoa and chocolate dessert special during the month of February.
- Partner with a local charity, school, or other nonprofit to host a food-and-beverage fundraiser in which part of the proceeds go to that organization.
- Don’t forget sports promotions like big game night, tennis championships, Little League, or a popular local event such as skiing. A fantasy sports team pool is another way that you can engage customers in a promotion, offering free food or drink or other prizes.
- Use Facebook to get the word out about promotional events like wine dinners by encouraging people to RSVP online.
- Offer unique flavor combinations in juices, iced tea, smoothies, and waters (such as peach iced tea or cucumber-infused water) to pique the interest of Millennials and others who are curious about trying new beverages.
- Another idea that will appeal to adventurous patrons: let them customize beverages with buzzworthy on-trend flavors, such as coconut, acia, nut milks, blueberries or kale.
- Test customer interest in new beverages with LTOs (limited-time offers), which can also be promoted as news in social media and point-of-sale.
- Crowdsource new flavor and beverage ideas.
- Market food and beverage pairings, such as a tropical fruit juice with a Caribbean-influenced menu item (jerk chicken and passionfruit-guava cocktail, anyone?).
- Ramp up a standard bar program with interesting mocktails (muddle fresh fruit in iced green tea for example) to appeal to nondrinkers, designated drivers, younger patrons, and others.
- Launch a customized beverage program by offering flavor shots (with syrups, flavored creamers, and other additions) for hot and cold coffee, tea, and even cocoa.
- Let thirsty loyal customers skip the checkout line by offering reusable cups equipped with an RFID (radio frequency identification) code that is scannable at the soda fountain or self-serve coffee station. The cups can be loaded with a set number of prepaid refills and can be reloaded when that number is used up.
- Consider putting cold brew coffee on draft, to promote sales and take the prep burden off service staff.
- Offer grab-and-go or easily prepared smoothies and juices for snacks and portable refreshment.
The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.